Mudcrawlers

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zookeeper
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by zookeeper »

Otherwise great, but both animations suffer from not moving all parts.

P.S. A ballistic instead of a straight trajectory for the mud glob would probably make more sense, so you could just as well make him "spit" a bit more upwards.

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thespaceinvader
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

Here's an updated defence. I'll change the attack as well. The 'only the active element' problem is multiplied for gloopiness. I knew this would be a challenge...

EDIT: and a re-worked attack, trying to add a little more upwardsness to the spitting, and hopefully catching all of the stationary bits.
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muddie-attack.gif
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mudcrawler-defend.gif
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Trilby
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by Trilby »

There's a tiny bit of noise that happens in the attack, even so this could be read as a rogue air-pocket bursting.

I think these are great, they look to have a proper sense of gloopiness about them. :D

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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

Yeah, I intended it to look like that, but I think it would need more telegraphing, so i'll take it out.

EDIT: going for commit this afternoon, unless anyone else has issue, using this set of frames:
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SFault
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by SFault »

In defense animation it doesn't expand to his left. It should spread a bit to that direction too.
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

We see the profile of it along its left/our right side, it doesn't expand that way. Also, death anim, since the original had one, and it's easy enough to make. Will also double as a recruit anim, played backwards. PLus, the first two defence frames just worked so well for the purpose.
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mudcrawler-die.gif
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Jetrel
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by Jetrel »

LEARN TO AVOID BANDING.
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation ... 4#msg92434

You often go out and straight-up commit what he calls "staircase banding". This is not a minor issue, this is a huge, huge deal that's keeping you out of the same league as neoriceisgood, helm, and any number of truly amazing pixel artists.


One thing to keep in mind is that you can Anti-alias away the banding with any color in the piece. Yes, this includes completely different colors from another, differently colored material in the image. This works because "shape as indicated by luminosity" is far, far more important than hue to human perception. Now, yes, this can be taken too far, but you have to go to ridiculous lengths to do that. I use this trick all the time, and it's incredibly helpful for avoiding banding.

This is frame 3 from your death animation, with a before/after comparison in both animated and before-after form. Please don't blow this off - let's try having you fix this on this very animation.

You're doing a really good job with these mudcrawlers; such a good job that if you fix this, which is the only real flaw they have, we'll never have to replace them (whereas much of your earlier stuff, like the water-serpent, will eventually need a retouch - in part due to banding and shading issues). This is a great opportunity to tackle this skillset issue once and for all.
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

I'll get to fixing this issue over the next few days. But I'm moving tomorrow, and I'm likely not to have internet for a while >.< So I don't know when I'll be able to upload the work.

Though, that being said, as an artist, I can see the improvements you've made. As a player, without my artist's eye 'turned on' as it were, they barely look different, let alone better or worse. Reading the post in that thread, in particular, this strikes me as an issue that seems more for the artist than the player - the latter won't be distracted by it if it's not quite perfect, though of course it all builds to improve the overall experience.

Ho hum, enough musing.
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Jetrel
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by Jetrel »

One thing I noticed is that "Banding" is much, much more of an issue on crisp LCDs that have no color-blending between pixels. On my screen, the banded version looks really bad - it looks like the mudcrawler has some sort of jagged surface along those highlights, like spikes or something.

If you're using one of those 6-bit LCDs that secretly dither, or a CRT where each color blends into it's neighbors, banding really isn't such a big deal. In fact a lot of traditional tv-based games had really bad banding, because their colors blended anyways. (In fact, most sega games banded like nuts, and tended to look very good on the actual hardware, but look like [censored] on emulation because we can actually see the raw pixels clearly.)

Very importantly - fixing banding won't have a reverse effect of making your work look bad on blurry displays. Fixing banding is a no-lose proposition.


This is an example of why 16-bit games could get away with bad banding:
http://www.disgruntleddesigner.com/chri ... shots.html


As a note on perspective:
Pixel art is really still coming into its heyday, and the 16-bit era was not when it got canonized, and set in stone for permanent imitation. Rather, it was when it got discovered by accident due to technical limitations clashing with artists who wanted their games to look as good as possible. Not merely some, but actually most 16-bit era pixel art is considered really bad by modern standards, and is not something to imitate.

Though, that being said, as an artist, I can see the improvements you've made. As a player, without my artist's eye 'turned on' as it were, they barely look different, let alone better or worse. Reading the post in that thread, in particular, this strikes me as an issue that seems more for the artist than the player - the latter won't be distracted by it if it's not quite perfect, though of course it all builds to improve the overall experience.
:augh: Subtle things add up in a big way.

For example, kitty is clearly dramatically better than, e.g. valkier (sorry for picking on you - to play fair, she's better than me, too). But why? It's not some single, big, obvious thing. It's a bunch of really subtle stuff, that individually, might be dismissible.

That's a "dangerous" attitude because it just delays you fixing many issues until each individual one reaches a late stage of awareness and understanding for you, and becomes a nuisance you have to fix. Such a cycle is measured in months and years, and there are only so many in a lifetime. If someone else points something out for you, and you try fixing it preemptively, before you're personally bugged by it, you get a head start of years. It can be the difference between being wickedly good at age 25. Or 35.

I mean, certainly, do take everything we're suggesting with skepticism. I do, myself; we're probing at an unknown field experimentally; trying to figure out the rules. But in order to experiment with art techniques, you have to fully experiment with them, and master their use, to decide if they're a good or bad thing. You can't just half-heartedly poke at something and decide it's a bad fork in the skill tree - you have to test it out for some time before deciding if it's a good idea or not.
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

I should add: that's not to say I won't do it ;)

Also, could you take a look at the Ancient Lich thread and artisticdude's merman warrior attack anim thread please? They could use your input =)
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

I hope to goodness this fixes most if not all of this. It's one of those things where I don't really quite understand what it is I'm doing, which makes it difficult to do. I'm doing it by rote rather than by comprehension.

What remains: movement, standing. I'll leave North for now, mainly because this looks pretty OK for north as well as south. It's basically a glob after all :D
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

Standing anim WIP. Only the front half or so is close to done yet. This is most confusing but when I get it right, very satisfying. It will look uncomfortably like a roiling pile of... mud... when it's done. Or Sergeant Schlock. A matter of complete trial-and-error, unfortunately. I do wish there was a GIMP plugin that would live preview an animation as you work, in the same way the the images dialogue shows static views.
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Reepurr
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by Reepurr »

What's the blob on its head that goes up and down all the time? It doesn't seem right to me... :?

Wait, is it the eye? That must be pretty annoying when you're trying to see to spit some mud at an elf...
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by PeterPorty »

It doesn't happen during the attack animation.
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Mudcrawlers

Post by thespaceinvader »

No, really?

It's not meant to.

And yes, it is the eye. I thought it would be pretty cool for it to continually roll down the face and pop back out, but I might tone down the motion a little. It should be less intrusive when the rest of the thing moves, however.
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